Health Insurance Conveniences Plans
Medicare Advantage plans differ from Medicare Supplements in many ways. I recommend to my clients that Medicare Advantage plans be considered alternatives to Original Medicare coverage. Original Medicare covers Parts A and BC. Medicare Advantage plans, also known as Part C or MA plans, are part of Original Medicare. Original Medicare doesn’t cover Medicare Advantage plans. Medicare Advantage plans have to include all of the services Original Medicare covers.
Original Medicare allows providers to bill Medicare initially and then later bill a Supplement Company. Individuals could be responsible for the remaining portion of the Medicare supplement company and Medicare. Medicare Advantage plans include private insurance companies being billed. If an individual has a Part C plan (MA) with company XYZ, and visits his primary physician or receives services at a hospital for treatment, the bill will go to company XYZ, not Medicare. This could mean that the individual will be responsible for either a copay, or a maximum amount.
Medicare Advantage plans are sometimes called “all of the above” because they provide coverages beyond medical. Part C plans can include prescription drug coverage. These plans are sometimes referred as MAPD plans (Medicare Advantage prescription drug). Some plans provide coverage for vision, hearing, dental, wellness, and/or other benefits. Medicare Advantage plans can be very different and should be carefully reviewed on an individual basis.
Medicare Advantage plans include a premium. These premiums are variable. There are plans that offer a $0 monthly Premium. However, Medicare Advantage plans do not require individuals to pay the Part A premium in order to sign up. Access to a plan varies by county. For example, in one county, a $0 monthly premium policy may be available. However, it may not be in another.